Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival: What to expect this year (Preview)

Dylan from Puffy’s ‘Making the Band’ will perform live on the Cultural Stage.

Photo: Courtesy of the festival

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is Jamaica, Queens’ largest culture festival to date.


ext week at the 7th annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, 1993’s Miss World and Jamaica’s former minister of culture—Lisa Hanna—and the Mayor of New York will compete in a jerk cook off. According to one of the press releases, Mayor de Blasio defeated his last two contenders; and plans to keep his title. In the past two years, the mayor has beaten Leon from 1993’s “Cool Runnings” and Kaci Fennell (Miss Jamaica Universe 2014).

Like most New Yorkers, we haven’t tasted any of the mayor’s dishes, but I believe he can throw down. If a Jamaican food festival can cosign him, who is qualified to question his jerking abilities?

More details from the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival’s official press release stated the following:

“Miss Hanna is the embodiment of a modern day ‘renaissance woman,’ a karate instructor with a black belt in karate, in 2007 she became the youngest member of Jamaica’s Parliament and served as Minister of Youth and Culture from 2012-2016. She has been touted for her culinary skills and will be fully prepared to challenge de Blasio on his home turf for the Dutch Pot trophy.

The Culinary Pavilion is one of the featured activities at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, where patrons gather and rub elbows with celebrity chefs, fellow jerk lovers, and other VIPs. Hosted by Chef Hugh “Irie Spice” Sinclair and co-hosted by Chef Wenford Patrick Simpson, Celebrity and Corporate Executive Chef of BB King’s in Times Square, the Culinary Pavilion promises an afternoon of cooking showmanship.

Chef Simpson is known for preparing food combinations that are as flavorful as they are beautiful, which has landed him numerous features on local and national TV and major food publications. The live Q&A session after the cooking demonstrations offers patrons an opportunity to ask questions so they can prepare culinary delights at home.”

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival
Photo: Courtesy of the festival

Popular Jamaican singer Konshens and Soca star Alison Hinds will perform at Roy Wilkins Park. Barrington Levy and Morgan Heritage will also play.

You can learn more about the Queens annual food festival on the website. If you want to purchase advanced tickets for Sunday’s festival, head to Your children (10-years-old and under) are welcome and free of admission.


Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the North American Press Agent and US Business Manager for Oxlade; Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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